After news of Osama bin Laden’s death, some people had no problem embracing the killing of a mass murderer as a good thing. No equivocation necessary. Others were more conflicted and were forced to misquote Mark Twain and Martin Luther King Jr. on the Internet just to make sense of their dueling instincts. At an appearance at the University of Southern California, one student posed that moral conundrum to arguably the most compassionate man alive. Considering that in the Dhammapada, the Buddha himself wrote, “‘He abused me, he struck me, he overcame me, he robbed me’ — in those who harbor such thoughts hatred will never cease,” how should we feel about killing bin Laden?
According to the Los Angeles Times, the spiritual leader said Al Qaeda’s leader deserved compassion and even forgiveness, but added, rather unexpectedly for a man who won’t kill a fly:
There you have it. You’re spiritually free to rejoice in bin Laden’s death … depending on how you define countermeasures.